In our last blog, we spoke about the power of having a side hustle. In this blog, we’re going to dive a bit deeper and look at how you can use a side hustle effectively.
What is a Side Hustle?
A side hustle is a venture that you run on the side of whatever your full-time employment is. Whether that is a job, your studies, or something else that you have going on in your life. There are tons of ideas around what you could do to start a side hustle to earn a little extra income on the side.
This is not a blog about what specifically you can use as a side hustle, but rather the things that you need to consider in order to run your side hustle effectively.
To start, the number one consideration for a side hustle should be the time that it’s going to take.
Be very clear about the time that you have to invest in your side hustle and where in your day you were agreeing to spend that time. Is it something that you can realistically commit to?
Do you have that extra space in your life where you can actually devote an amount of time to this?
And then ask yourself, “how good am I about estimating the time I need in order to accomplish them?”
If you’re like me, I need to take any estimate I have and multiply it by three because things take me three times longer than I imagine they will.
Before starting a side hustle, it’s very useful to do a little exercise thinking about what activities you will need to engage in in order to be successful. Write down exactly what you need to be doing. What is the core activity that you’ll be doing in your side hustle? Is it research? Is it selling something?
Is it developing something? Is it going to farmer’s markets? Is it coaching or consulting or whatever it is. Write down that core activity.
In addition, take a look at other activities that you’ll need to engage in in order to run your business effectively. This means bookkeeping, marketing, building a website. How you are going to communicate with people where these activities will need to be and how you’re going to get to where you need to go.
Sketch it out as much detail as you can and see if there are any missing holes in the time that you think it will take you in order to accomplish those.
Understand your motivations
Quite often on the internet when I look at side hustle ideas, they’re all geared around, “How can I make money?” And quite often the ideas are very generic. You could sell something on eBay, you could become an Uber driver. You could start a drop shipping business or start a blog or sell information products or become an Instagram influencer, all these really random ideas.
But at the end of the day, if you’re just doing a side hustle to make money, that is a pretty hard task. One, because earning money in itself, isn’t very fulfilling. What’s going to be more fulfilling is if you develop a side hustle that helps you develop skills that you enjoy using. So when you’re looking at your motivation, one of the first questions you ask is “what skills will I be using in this side hustle that I’m good at?”
Typically if you have a skill that you’re good at, you enjoy doing that. So, if you enjoy talking to people and having conversations, then maybe a side hustle that’s around coaching or consulting might be very good. If you love writing then perhaps starting a blog is a great side hustle. Or if you’re very curious about social entrepreneurship, like I was then a side hustle, I’ll run a podcast where you’re exploring what really helps to develop the skills and talents in that area.
Understanding your motivation is very important to have a successful side hustle. It should be something that’s bigger than yourself, but it’s also helping you grow and develop as a person.
One of the most valuable things about a side hustle is that it gives you some time to develop your expertise and your authority,
Have a clear vision for what you would like your side hustle to become
Building off your motivations behind why you’re doing this side hustle. Take some time to really look at what your vision is for this side hustle. Is it only ever going to be something that you do on the side? Maybe it’s a passion project and you simply want to do it because you love the activity that you’re engaged in.
Maybe you’re engaged in the side hustle because you want it to become something that is full-time and will take over your career in a direction of something that you’re really passionate about.
Have a vision of where that’s going. But if you want a really great vision, that’s going to propel you forward, make it about something that’s bigger than yourself.
How is your side hustle going to impact the community around you and the world?
If you have something bigger than yourself to believe in, you’ll find that that gives you a lot of extra motivation when things get difficult and challenging, and you’re stuck managing your time between activities.
If your side hustle is purely a passion project where it’s not intended to generate a profit, you can skip this section. But an important part of any business venture is understanding the cash that it’s going to take to run it and the revenue that you’re going to earn from that business.
Take some time to really understand what costs you need in order to get your side hustle up and run.
What raw materials, things like websites, marketing, materials, communication, or other assistance that you might need to hire out that you don’t have time for and get a good feel for the cost that it’s going to take to run your side hustle, and then do some research on the expected revenue that you’ll earn from the side hustle. And how long do you think it might take in order to earn that revenue.
For any business, there’s a ramp-up period, and really be honest with yourself about it. How much you could earn for the time that you’re putting in. The more that your side hustle is about trying to earn money, the more important this is.
However, at the end of the day, your side hustle might not be about earning money. It could be about developing your skills and your credibility for something in the future. Just be clear about that upfront. Um, but it’s very helpful to analyze that and get a strong picture of what that is before you dive in.
So in this blog, we’ve taken a look at some ways that you can structure your side hustle to be effective. At the end of the day. if you’re paying attention to how much time it’s going to take whether your motivations line up with your skills and you have a good vision about what it’s going to become and you understand the cashflow around it, then you’re in a very good space to be successful.
Hustle with care for yourself
One final thing that I will note is that anytime you have a side hustle and you’re doing this in conjunction with a full-time job or some other aspect of your life that’s taking a lot of time. Then you have to really look at that time management piece very carefully.
One thing that’s very important is self-care, making sure that you have enough time where you’re disconnected from just working endlessly on your ventures in your life. And so that you have some space to relax and we need time where we’re not involved in activities where we can enjoy life and have space that’s not structured or engaged in activities.
Make sure you understand how you take care of yourself and what you need in order to be at your best. That’s something that’s different for everybody, but make sure that you have enough time to take care of yourself in addition to any side hustle that you’re doing.
And with that, stay tuned for our next blog article, where we talk about managing your time effectively and what pieces go into that in order to make the best use of your time when running a side hustle.